The Micam show wraps up in Milan tomorrow — and organizers already have big plans in store for the next edition.
In September, Micam will launch a business-to-consumer sneaker event called Plug-Mi, which will be loosely modeled after ComplexCon in the U.S. “We want to embrace the sneaker culture revolution,” said Micam CEO Tommaso Cancellara. “One day, we hope to become half of what ComplexCon is, but we also want [to focus on European style.] Here, sneakers are a bit more classic. A lot of made-in-Italy companies are doing more and more of them, and focusing on sustainability.”
In the meantime, Micam brought five top Chinese influencers — with a total social following of more than 10 million fans — to this edition of its show. China is a primary focus, and Cancellara believes there is plenty of opportunity ahead. “Despite the Chinese New Year period, we are seeing so many new faces from China, and we are happy to experience that,” he said, noting that the country’s presence should be even bigger in September.
While there has been some concern about a slowdown in the Chinese market, Cancellara said it continues to grow at a pace that’s far beyond the current potential in Europe. Consumer shopping patterns are also good news for small and midsize Italian firms. “They are sophisticating themselves as consumers and are looking for different kinds of fashion and shoes.” the executive said. “They not want to be standardized; they want to be unique.”
On the other side of the world, the U.S. market is also high on the agenda for the Italian footwear industry. Through new partnerships with FN and WWD, as well as organizations like FDRA and CFDA, Micam is amping up its message to the American market this year.
At this edition of the show in Milan, 1,304 total companies are exhibiting, including 755 Italian players. Other countries with a major showing include Spain, Portugal, the U.K, Germany, Brazil and France. “We really are the sole international show in Europe now,” Cancellara said. “We are like the United Nations of footwear.”
While the overall Italian market continues to be challenged, Micam is upbeat about the future. “Quality is a winning strategy, and Italians are focused on high quality,” Cancellara said. “We are producing for big brands all over the world. No one makes a better shoe than Italy.”